A Week [Commuting To] Philly

Alright, so technically it was two weeks and technically not every place was in Philly – let alone PA – but it was close enough. For the past two weeks and wrapping up this morning, I’ve been commuting to Philly and its suburbs for co-op interviews. Drexel’s career center, we just call it the SCDC, recommends applying to 25 positions each round of interviews (there are three: A-round, B-round, and C-round) so I went ahead and applied to 25 for my first A-round experience. Honestly, thank god I didn’t get all 25. However, I did get 14 interview requests. That’s right. My first time on co-op. The first round. Fourteen requests. I don’t want to brag in the least bit, but holy cow. I seriously was not expecting so many and judging from others that I’ve talked to, that’s an extremely rare feat to pull off. However, again, those are only interview requests, not actually job offers. I won’t know those numbers until July 7thish (save for SIG, who already said they weren’t interested after the interview, so that knocks out about three of fourteen). So, for the past two weeks, I’ve spent the large majority of my time on the road. Heck, I think I spent more time in the state of PA than in NJ. My first interview, it seriously felt like I had never left Drexel for the summer.

So how have I been getting around? A combination of driving and Amtrak. Amtrak for any interviews in Philly and driving for everything else. And I think I drove more than rode the train. That said, the majority of times I had to drive, it was around 7am for a two hour drive. And that’s one-way. Am I complaining? Not entirely. Sure my legs were stiff as hell, and my rear almost as hard as a rock fro sitting so long, but in this economy, I have no right to complain when so many people don’t have a job. Don’t have 14 places interested – fun side note, I don’t have a summer job. No one I applied to for that was interested apparently. Go figure, right? Oh well.

Having now had two weeks of commuting experience – and to be honest, I consider Amtrak the easy route – I really don’t know how some people can pull it off every day, especially the commuter students we have at Drexel. Some of them come from NJ. Sure they take PATCO and what not, but it’s still gotta suck. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with commuting to a job. An hour drive I can easily manage. What was tough about some of the interviews I went on was that I was coming from NJ rather than Philly. If that wasn’t the case, I would’ve just taken SEPTA. Save for the two places in NJ, all of the off-campus interviews that weren’t in Philly could’ve been gotten to via SEPTA with relative ease. Sure, it would’ve taken just as long as driving from NJ for some, but I’ll take a two hour SEPTA ride over driving on the NJ Parkway, I-195, US-1, the NJ Turnpike and the PA Turnpike any day. And yes, for some of the places I really did have to take all of those routes. In rush hour. Add on to that getting lost one day. Yeah, fun times. Fun times.

All that said and done, now I get to wait. Wait and hope one of the places I interviewed at are interested. Do I expect them all to be? Certainly not. Do I have a first and a second pick in mind? You bet. Do I think I’ll get them? I haven’t the slightest idea. And that’s the worst part.

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